The Writer

Jeanne Córdova’s literary work includes founding and editing The Lesbian Tide – recognized as “the national newsmagazine of record” for the lesbian feminist decade (1971-1980).

Her most recent book WHEN WE WERE OUTLAWS: A Memoir of Love & Revolution (Spinsters Ink, 2011) is a LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD winner: Lesbian Memoir/Biography, and was also honored with the PUBLISHING TRIANGLE : Judy Grahn lesbian non-fiction award, GOLDEN CROWN LITERARY AWARD, STONEWALL BOOK AWARD: Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award Honor Book, and 2013 RAINBOW LIST: GLBT Roundtable of the American Library Association.

Córdova’s books also include Kicking the Habit, a Lesbian Nun Story, and Sexism; It’s a Nasty Affair. Her extensive journalism and essays appear in many anthologies including the Lambda Literary Award winning Persistent Desire; a Femme-Butch ReaderLesbian Nuns:Breaking the Silence, and the trail-blazing, Dagger: on Butch Women.

She speaks about LGBTQ history and culture on campuses, & at community conferences and organizations.  And is co-founder of LEX – The Lesbian Exploratory– a cultural guerilla group. LEX created the 2009 L.A. history and culture exhibit, “GenderPlay in Lesbian Culture” and co-sponsored the ButchVoicesLA conference in 2010.



  • “Anita Bryant’s Anti-Gay Crusade” in The Right Side of History: 100 Years of LGBTQI Activism. Cleis Press, June 2015
  • “Marriage Throws A Monkey Wrench” in Untangling the Knot: Queer Voices on Marriage, Relationships & Identity. Ooligan Press, Fall 2014
  • “The New Politics of Butch” in Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme, editors Ivan Coyote & Zena Sharman, Arsenal Pulp Press 2011
  • “A Tale of Two Hangouts: Gay & Lesbian Civil Wars in the ‘70s” in Love, West Hollywood, editors Chris Freeman & James J. Berg, Alyson Books (Los Angeles) 2008 – Lammy nominee
  • “Camp Fires” in On My Honor, Lesbian Girl Scouts, edited by Nancy Manahan. Madwoman Press, (San Francisco) 1997.
  • “A Tale of Two Brothers” in Tomboys, edited by Lynn Fletcher. Alyson Publications, (Boston) 1995.
  • “The Mantra of Orgasm” in Sexy & Spiritual/Viva Arts Quarterly! A journal of Latino(a) gay and lesbian writers. 1994.
  • “Conversation With A Gentleman Butch” in Dagger: On Butch Women, edited by Lily Burana & Roxxie. Cleis Press 1994.
  • “Butches, Lies & Feminism.” In Persistent Desire: A Femme Butch Reader. Edited by Joan Nestle. Alyson Publications. 1992 – Lammy Award winner.
  • “The Intimate is Transformational.” in Common Lives/Lesbian Lives, a lesbian quarterly. 1990.
  • “My Immaculate Heart” in Lesbian Nuns: Breaking the Silence, edited by Nancy Manahan and Rosemary Curb. Naiad Press, reprinted by Warner Books. 1985 – Lammy Award winner.
  • “Trauma in the Heterosexual Zone” in The Lesbian Path. Edited by Peg Cruikshank. Naiad Press. 1980.
  • “How To Come Out Without Being Thrown Out” and “What’s A Dyke To Do?” After You’re Out, edited by Karla Jay & Allen Young. Pyramid Books. 1975.

Highlights in Journalism


  • American Herald newspaper, Cabo, Mexico, 2000-2002
  • ICON newspaper, San Francisco. 1995 – 1998
  • Los Angeles Village View, 1995
  • The Advocate (1974-1976).
  • Los Angeles Free Press (1973-1976).
  • Lesbian Tide, News Editor, Editor in Chief, 1971-1980


Cordova’s career as a journalist includes essays and commentary on socio-political issues, and several hundred news and feature stories, and interviews written between 1971 and 2009. Her work has appeared in;

The Nation, The Edge, Frontiers in LA, OUT! (New York City), the Washington Blade (D.C.), Orange County Blade, Philadelphia Gay News, The Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco), Seattle Gay News, The Body Politic (Boston), The Lesbian News (LA), Ten Percent Magazine (San Francisco), The Los Angeles Free Press, the Advocate, The Los Angeles Village View, ICON, and the Lesbian Tide.

  • The Metaphor of Stonewall; Never Concede Defeat
    (Speech given at the 40th Anniversary Celebration of Stonewall. Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board event in West Hollywood, CA June 2, 2009.)
  • Frontiers IN Los Angeles, “Towards an Anthropology of Lesbians as Tribe,” Los Angeles, 2008.
  • Out Magazine, “Political Makeover” – Last Page, Commentary. New York. June 1995.
  • Advocate: “Queen Jean.” Business column interview with Jean O’Leary. Los Angeles. April 1995.
  • Ten Percent Magazine: “Something Old, Something New – Jeanne Cordova’s politically feminist partnering in the Hollywood Hills.” Commentary. San Francisco. May/June 1995.
  • Los Angeles Village View: “A Margarita Conversion.” Column. Los Angeles. July 1995. A story of reconciliation with my parents while getting drunk at a Mexican resort.
  • Frontiers Newsmagazine: “Out of the Confessional.” News-feature about a lesbian ex-nun suing Catholic Church. Los Angeles. May 1995.
  • Frontiers Newsmagazine: “The Politics of Orgasm” Commentary. Los Angeles. Reprinted by Windy City Times. Chicago. April and May 1995.

Recent Speeches & Essays

The Metaphor of Stonewall; Never Concede Defeat. Read Transcript: The Metaphor of Stonewall
Speech given at the 40th Anniversary Celebration of Stonewall. LGAB event in West Hollywood, CA June 2, 2009. Fellow Panelists: Lillian Faderman,
Mark Thompson & Don Kilhefner. Photos included.

Mommy, Where Do Lesbians Come From?
(Essay reprinted in “Frontiers IN Los Angeles” June 2008. Also presented with historic photos at the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives, May 2008)